Speech by Laurent Fabius at DSDS 2015

Speech by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

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Speech by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development at Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2015

- To download the copyright free images of the visit, visit Flickr page of the French Embassy.

New Delhi – Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2015
Thursday, 5 February 2015

Mr Chairman, Honourable Presidents, dear Ministers, Governor Schwarzenegger, Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests,

Thank you, Dr Pachauri, for inviting me to this major event. I wanted to be here today for the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, first because it is an important event by itself and because it is on the road to the COP 21, which France will host and chair at the end of this year.

There’s no doubt that 2015 will be a decisive milestone for our collective action both on climate change and development, with at least three major upcoming international conferences: on financing for development in Addis Ababa in July, on sustainable development goals in New York in September, and on climate change in December in Paris. Today more than ever – and this has been emphasized by many of the previous speakers – we need to address climate and development together, not against each other.

I would like to make four brief observations.


As far as science is concerned, the old “climate scepticism” is no longer an option. The last IPCC report confirmed that climate change – or rather “climate disruption” – is an obvious threat. And we must all thank Dr Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, for his magnificent leadership on this. The scientific community has done its job. Now, governments, local authorities, the business community, and the civil society, need to act.


So, what can be expected from the Paris Climate Conference?

France will host the COP 21, after the COP 20 in Lima, which did a very good job. I remember when France was chosen – the choice was made easier by the fact that we were the only candidate. And many people came to me to tell “good luck”. Be assured that we will spare no effort to deliver the universal and meaningful agreement that the world needs.

Negotiations among 195 countries on such an essential matter are a challenge. Achieving an outcome that can genuinely be considered a success will require a shift in our economic models toward low-carbon pathways. And, we all know that it will require strong political leadership and a collective spirit of responsibility and solidarity.

So far as the Presidency is concerned, we want to be transparent, impartial and ambitious.

We will make sure that every voice is heard. This agreement should be an agreement among all and for all.

This agreement will need to be ambitious and respond to the scientific call for urgent action.

And equally, it will need to fully take into account each country’s right to development. An agreement that would lead some countries to consider their growth hampered by its provisions would not be acceptable.

What do we propose to achieve in Paris?

Four pillars:
The first one – a major one - is a universal and differentiated agreement, that demonstrates that we are taking action today and that we shall take additional strong measures in the long term to achieve our common objective of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. And I hope that we shall be able to agree on the major issues even before Paris.

Second, national contributions by each country. We hope that they will be announced as early as possible, so that we may gain a full and shared understanding of where we really stand.

Third, a financial package. No significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved without equitable access to sustainable development. The initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund amounting to over 10 billion dollars is a first step. But beyond that, we need increased financing from both public and private sources to reach 100 billion dollars a year starting from 2020, while shifting investments from high-carbon to low-carbon technologies and activities.

Fourth, besides governments, we want the COP 21 to gather all initiatives from other stakeholders – private businesses, local and regional entities, and civil society. We call on private companies and businesses to contribute to this “Agenda of Solutions”.


My third remark is that taking action against climate disruption and for poverty reduction should not be regarded as two separate and contradictory goals.

As Prime Minister Modi recently said, global awareness of climate change is an opportunity to improve the quality of life of our citizens and to fight poverty.

The world needs growth, in both developed and developing countries. The way forward, indeed, is to ensure sustainable growth that creates wealth, jobs, and social progress. Just as yesterday fossil fuels enabled our economies to develop, tomorrow clean technologies and the right policy framework can ensure a new cycle of sustainable growth and development. Action against climate disruption is and will be a source of opportunities.


What could India’s role be in this context?

The answer belongs to India. Indeed, India is a major economy and therefore a major emitter, as well as a key player in both climate and sustainable development goal negotiations. At the same time, we all understand its constraints.

We believe that India needs to, and will, develop even more in the future, and this is good news for the rest of the world. We need a signal that all countries are embarking on a trajectory toward a low-carbon economy, based on their national circumstances. No doubt that India could play a leading role in this effort. No doubt that India will do so under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

We have taken note of the initiatives already launched by the Indian Government: 100 gigawatt of solar energy by 2020, a multiplication by 3 of the nuclear capacity before 2025, 100 smart cities. These goals are really ambitious.


As regards France, apart from our national and European decisions on climate, we strongly support all the initiatives taken by the Indian government to tackle climate disruption. And we will continue to collaborate with India on this issue.


In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the mantra of Prime Minister Modi: “Together with all, development for all”. This applies not only to India; it can inspire the entire world. Our common goal should be to reconcile human development and the preservation of nature. In this regard, it is no surprise that the DSDS, this major event, is taking place in India, a country that, since ancient time, has always cherished nature. Now, the Minister has said that Paris is a city of passion and fashion. I would add that it is also a city of transformation, a city of action.

I wish all of you a very fruitful meeting here, and for those of you who will come to Paris next December, a fruitful preparation and an excellent COP 21. Thank you./.

Last modified on 09/03/2015

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